Secreted Soluble Factors from Tumor-Activated Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Confer Platinum Chemoresistance to Ovarian Cancer Cells

Yifat Koren Carmi, Hazem Khamaisi, Rina Adawi, Eden Noyman, Jacob Gopas, Jamal Mahajna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer (OC) ranks as the second most common type of gynecological malignancy, has poor survival rates, and is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage. Platinum-based chemotherapy, such as carboplatin, represents the standard-of-care for OC. However, toxicity and acquired resistance to therapy have proven challenging for the treatment of patients. Chemoresistance, a principal obstacle to durable response in OC patients, is attributed to alterations within the cancer cells, and it can also be mediated by the tumor microenvironment (TME). In this study, we report that conditioned medium (CM) derived from murine and human stromal cells, MS-5 and HS-5, respectively, and tumor-activated HS-5, was active in conferring platinum chemoresistance to OC cells. Moreover, CM derived from differentiated murine pre-adipocyte (3T3-L1), but not undifferentiated pre-adipocyte cells, confers platinum chemoresistance to OC cells. Interestingly, CM derived from tumor-activated HS-5 was more effective in conferring chemoresistance than was CM derived from HS-5 cells. Various OC cells exhibit variable sensitivity to CM activity. Exploring CM content revealed the enrichment of a number of soluble factors in the tumor-activated HS-5, such as soluble uPAR (SuPAR), IL-6, and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). FDA-approved JAK inhibitors were mildly effective in restoring platinum sensitivity in two of the three OC cell lines in the presence of CM. Moreover, Crizotinib, an ALK and c-MET inhibitor, in combination with platinum, blocked HGF’s ability to promote platinum resistance and to restore platinum sensitivity to OC cells. Finally, exposure to 2-hydroxyestardiol (2HE2) was effective in restoring platinum sensitivity to OC cells exposed to CM. Our results showed the significance of soluble factors found in TME in promoting platinum chemoresistance and the potential of combination therapy to restore chemosensitivity to OC cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7730
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • chemoresistance
  • HGF
  • IL-6
  • kinase inhibitors
  • ovarian cancer
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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